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tv   [untitled]  CSPAN  June 8, 2009 6:00pm-6:30pm EDT

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hong och
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[roll call]
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>> are there any senators wishing to vote or change their vote? if not, on this vote the yeas are 61, three senators will lead chosen and a boat in the affirmative the notion is agreed to. >> senator? >> madame president? >> senator from connecticut. >> let me thank the colleagues -- >> let's have order in the senate. >> but we express gratitude to the colleagues on both sides of the divide. this was a bipartisan effort to allow us to get to the votes. i promised my friend if i have to vote against a point of order to make sure he gets up his amendment i will do so and tomorrow morning we will set a time for that. but all the germane amendments in the leadership will describe how that's going to amendments can be considered full and we will get to a final passage
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after that. but i'm very grateful to my colleagues. on both sides that made this possible. it's ten years waiting to get this bill that allows us to finally deal with the marketing of tobacco to children. that is a significant decrease in the country. 4,000 deaths a year, 4,000 kids start smoking every day. this bill for the first time will allow us to step up and require fda regulation of tobacco products. that is a great accomplishment for the people of the country and i'm grateful to the colleagues. madam president, i know the absence of a quorum. >> madame president? >> will the senator quote is the quorum call? >> i withdraw the request. >> senator from illinois. sorry, senator from north dakota. >> madame president, the senate is not in order. >> the senate will be in order. senator from north dakota. >> madame president i asked senator durbin be recognized following my presentation.
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>> without objection. >> madame president i just want to compliment senator don for his work on this bill and senator enzi and so many others. i want to make sure the record notes something we just agreed to today. symbol wondered what has happened to the legislation i indicated i would offer on this piece of -- on the bill of which we had a cloture vote. the real importation of prescription drugs. now, i intended to offer on this. i have received from the majority leader a commitment that put on the calendar under rule 14 and brought to the u.s. senate for a vote and he will do that very soon. on that basis, i voted for cloture. i know my colleague senator snowe, senator mccain and senator stabenow and many others feel very strongly about this, as to why. we've been at this eight or ten years. it's been a long, long time and the support allowing theory importation of fda approved prescription drugs is very broad
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in the senate. i just -- senator mccain, senator grassley, senator stabenow and myself in fact president obama was a co-sponsor of the legislation last year. he has included in his budget a provision for this kind of legislation. >> will the senators please move their conversation outside? senator from north dakota. >> as i indicated, then senator obama last year was a co-sponsor of our legislation. we had over 30 senators republicans and democrats who believe the same thing and that was we ought to allow the american consumer to access fda approved prescription drugs and not from other countries, not because we want them to shop and other countries but we believe the ability to do so would put downward pressure on prescription drug prices in the country. madam president, if i might by
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consent jody still bottles to a describe what we are talking about this is lipitor produced in ireland, same pill in the same ball by the same company just shipped in different directions. even the ball is identical accept one is a blue label and one is a red label. one of them went to canada. one of them into the united states. the american people get the pleasure of paying twice the price for lipitor than the canadians but it's not just canada. it's virtually every other country, industrialized country is able to pay a fraction of the price for prescription drugs that our consumers are required to pay. why? there is a law in the country that says the only entity that can import prescription drugs into the country is the manufacturer of the drug itself. the legislation we will put together on a bipartisan basis is very straightforward. it provides some say initially greater protection with pedigree and batch lots and so on,
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substantially greater protection that now exists in the drug supply. so don't tell me -- don't anybody tell me there's a safety issue. this is about whether the american people should continue to pay the highest prices in the world for prescription drugs. all last we ought to have a vote on this and get through congress and signed by the president who was a co-sponsor when he served this body. so the majority leader has committed to giving the opportunity to get this on the floor, and that commitment we will exchange in the morning and i expect that to happen in the very near future with a matter of a couple of weeks, and i believe finally we will be able to dispose of this on the floor of the senate and i believe we have more than sufficient votes to pass this real importation of drugs to put downward pressure on drug prices in the country. what's happening in the country with drug pricing is unfair to the american people. it is as simple as that and we aim to correct it. >> madame president? >> senator under the previous
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order the senator from l.i.e. is to be recognized. >> madame president i would be happy to yield to the senator from arizona and reclaim the floor after he spoke in. >> is their objection? without objection the senator from arizona. >> i will be brief and say thank new to the senator from north dakota for his outstanding work. i want to thank also the majority leader who assured us that he would give consideration to this issue. he has agreed to bring it to the floor and when the majority leader gave me that assurance frankly i was a little skeptical about the ability to do so. i'm happy he is bringing it to the floor for a vote, and i appreciate that very much and i want to thank senator dorgan for his outstanding work. it's been a lot of years we've been doing this, working on this, but i think we can move forward. i yield and thank my colleague
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from illinois. >> madame president, the course of the last several weeks the minority leader, republican leader senator mcconnell talked to the closing of guantanamo. day after day after day he raised the question as to whether or not we should close the guantanamo facility and whether if we did close such a facility where are these detainee's cent and whether they could be securely incarcerated and detained. these questions were raised repeatedly and little was said on this side of the ogle indifference to the president, who was coming forward with his plan and dealing with this problem. and it's a problem he inherited. when president obama was sworn into office, he inherited about 240 guantanamo detainees some of whom have been held in guantanamo a lengthy period of ty. some have been interrogated. many have been considered for trial or military tribunal or
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even release, but president obama inherited these 240 detainees. he made a statement in one of his first days in office as president to things would happen under his administration. first we wouldn't engage in torture as a nation and second, we but close guantanamo. after making that announcement he made it clear he would have to come back with a specific set of proposals which he did two weeks ago in a speech, historic speech at the national archives. until the speech was made, senator mcconnell and other republicans in support of his position came to the floor, continued to question whether or not we could or should close guantanamo. today earlier this afternoon the assistant minority leader, senator kyl of arizona, came to the floor and made remarks about my view on the issue as well as president obama's view on closing the guantanamo bay detention facility. it is true i believe as president obama does closing
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guantanamo is an important national security prieta for america but center kyle didn't mention the others who support closing guantanamo. it's not just the president and his former illinois colleague senator durbin who support the closing of guantanamo. many security and military leaders have said closing guantanamo will make america safer. and here are a few examples. leading the list of those that agree with president obama in closing guantanamo, general colin powell, former chairman of joint chiefs of staff and former secretary of state under president george w. bush. republican senators john mccain of arizona, lindsey graham south carolina both publicly stated they favor the closing of guantanamo. former republican secretaries of state james baker, henry kissinger, and condoleezza rice. admiral michael mullen, chairman of joint chiefs of staff and
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general david petraeus. so for senator kafeel to come to the floor and suggest this notion of closing guantanamo isn't one shared by military and security leaders isn't accurate. the list i've given isn't complete. many others agree with the president's position. according to the experts, guantanamo has become a recruiting tool for al qaeda that's actually hurting america's security. in his remarks this afternoon senator carl challenged the notion singing and by quote an idea that's been floated by the president, senator durbin and others, and of quote, of closing guantanamo. senator kyl didn't mention who these nameless others who agree with closing guantanamo or agree it is a recruiting tool for terrorists might be. let's take one for example. chairman of joint chiefs of staff mike mahlon and i quote. the consort had about guantanamo is that it's been a recruiting for those extremists and jihadists who would like us.
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that's part of the concern for guantanamo's continued existence. that was a quote from the chairman of joint chiefs of staff admiral michael mullen. retired air force maj matthew alexander led the interrogation team to track down the leader of al qaeda in iraq. here is what major alexander said and i quote. i listened time and time again to foreign fighters and sunnis, iraqis and many states the number one reason they decided to pick up arms and join al qaeda was the abuse at abu ghraib and author iced torture and abuse at guantanamo bay. it's no exaggeration to say at least half of our losses, at least half of our losses and casualties in that country have come to the hands of foreigners who joined the fray because of our program of detainee abuse, and of quote. alberto, former navy general counsel, testified to the senate armed services committee about
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guantanamo and this is what he said. serving u.s. rank officers maintained the first and second identifiable causes of u.s. combat deaths in iraq as judged by their effectiveness recruiting insurgent fighters into the combat or respectively symbols of abu ghraib and guantanamo. so it's not accurate for senator kyl or others to suggest president obama and i dreamed up the notion that guantanamo is a recruiting poster. it is our military leaders who told us that based on their experience actually fighting the war in iraq and afghanistan. senator kyl also claimed on the floor this afternoon that no one has been abused at guantanamo. he said, quote, this idea prisoners are treated badly is false. the insinuation directly or indirectly the torture has occurred at guantanamo must stop, and of quote.
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well, that's senator kyle's opinion but others have a different view. the senate armed services committee issued a bipartisan report which reached much different conclusion. they found in by quote this bipartisan report of the senate armed services committee, quote, secretary defense donald rumsfeld authorization of aggressive interrogation techniques for use of guantanamo bay was a direct cause of detainee abuse, and of quote. one other example. susan crawford, the top bush administration official dealing with military commissions at guantanamo. she was general counsel of army during the reagan administration and pentagon inspector general when richard cheney of was the defense secretary. she is a lifelong republican. susan crawford reached the same conclusion, reached the conclusion mohammed al-kahtani, the so-called 20 hijacker couldn't be prosecuted for his role in the 9/11 attacks because he was tortured at guantanamo
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bay. here is what susan crawford said. madam president, can i ask for order in the chamber? >> the senate will be in order. >> here is what susan crawford said. quote, we tortured al-kahtani. if we tolerate this and allow wait how can we object when hours servicemen and women or others in the foreign service are captured and subjected to the same techniques? how can we complain where is our moral authority to complete? well, we may have lost it, and of quote from susan crawford. this is one reason the president obama closing guantanamo and put an end to the abusive interrogation techniques that were used in guantanamo because they put the troops at risk of being abused of the troops are captured. senator kyl has also claimed there is no connection between the abuse that took place at abu ghraib and guantanamo bay. that is senator kyl's view that the senate armed services committee reached a different
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conclusion. here's what they found. quote, the abuse of detainees at abu ghraib in late 2003 wasn't simply the result of a few soldiers acting on their own. interrogation techniques such as stripping detainee's of their clothes, placing them in stress positions in using military working dogs to intimidate them. in iraq only after they had been approved for use in afghanistan and at guantanamo, and of quote. senator kyl said those of us who advocate closing guantanamo should be thankful for the service of the soldiers and sailors at guantanamo rather than, quote, stopping them in the face and in simulating they've done something wrong, and of quote. let me be clear. i personally visited guantanamo in 2006. i left with a feeling of pride and admiration for the soldiers and sailors i had met who were working hard in a very difficult assignment. they are doing a great job. but they are asked to carry out a heavy burden created by a
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previous administration's policies. it is no favor to the men and women serving their to have them continue their service at guantanamo if in fact it is a recruiting tool for terrorists who are putting the lives of other servicemen and women of america at risk around the world. president obama is closing guantanamo because it would make america and our troops savored. what is a slap in the face is to continue policies from the previous administration that recruit more terrorists and put our troops at risk. senator kyl said and i quote, serious concern about the safety of americans, and of quote, if guantanamo is closed and detainee's are transferred to the united states to be held in super maximum prisons. now, i would just refer senator kyl to his colleague, senator lindsey graham, fellow republican from south carolina. also military lawyer in the air force. this is what senator gramm said
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and i quote i believe we could handle 100 or 250 prisoners and protect national security interests because we had 450,000 german and japanese prisoners in the united states so this idea they cannot be housed somewhere safely i disagree. and of quote, senator graham. people who suggest we can on detain terrorists in our prisons should show more respect for the brave corrections officers who put their lives on the line every day to keep us safe. just the week before last i went to the prison in southern illinois. it was once our maximum security prison in the united states before the super maximum facility was opened at florence colorado. it was interesting as i met with the corrections officer in the lockup of the mary and federal prison, and after a little bit of a tour i asked what do you think of this notion that we hear from senators on the floor like senator kyl and senator mcconnell that we cannot safely
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incarcerate guantanamo detainees in the presence of the united states? the one corrections officer said senator, in salted by the comment. at this facility we are now incarcerating members of colombian drug terrorist gangs and have had serial murderers and we have incarcerated john gotti, we've incarcerated some of the most dangerous people convicted, brought into the country from overseas where the opposing a threat to america and the united states we brought them here. we know how to handle these prisoners. we are up to this task. we've proven it over and over again. this very senators questioning whether or not we can safely incarcerate our prisoners in our maximum and super max facilities should acknowledge one of these fact, no one, literally no one has ever escapes from a super max facility in the united states. and for those on the republican side to argue that putting these prisoners from guantanamo and a
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super max facility in dangers of in the community, it just isn't supported by history and experience. senator kyl said, quote, no one ever escapes from guantanamo, and of quote. that's true. but it's also true no prisoner has ever escapes from a federal super maximum security facility. i said before and i will repeat because senator kyl made reference to it. at the base of this argument made by senator mcconnell and senator kyl is year. not just fear of extremists and terrorists and violence but fear that this great country of america can all stand by the values which we have honored for generations and still be safe. fear we can't stand for the constitutional principles that we swear to uphold and still be safe. fear we cannot trust americans in our court system, the best in
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the world, to in fact try these prisoners if they are guilty and incarcerate them. fear that we can't do that and be safe. fear that we can't trust the men and women working in prisons across america, super max facilities to incarcerate guantanamo detainees, that kind of fear which is what we hear on a regular basis, the regular diet fed to us by the republican senators is no basis for a sound american foreign policy. if we are going to have a policy that protects us abroad and at home we should recognize threats for what they are, understand our were strengths and weaknesses and be prepared. this idea of towering and fear which is what the republican senators offer as a daily regimen for their speeches on the floor is not what america has ever been about. just last saturday we celebrated the 65th anniversary of that miraculously invasion on d-day. i got on the phone and called
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one of my great friends in springfield illinois, joe kelley. he came in on the seventh day after d-day with artillery and spent 18 months in the army, fought the battle of the bulge, a great fellow. talked about volunteering and i want to tell you something. when joe kelly and his four brothers volunteered in chicago to fight in world war ii, it wasn't because they were afraid. they volunteered because they felt they could only keep this country saved by being prepared to stand up for it and fight. they did it and did it successfully. that spirit, that patriotic spirit of the day, joe kelley and so many others is what will keep america safe and president obama knows it. senator mccaul and kyl can come to the floor and express their fear over and over again, the latest year they have about the safety of the country but they are not borne up on the fact. i will stand by general colin powell and others, people i admire that have given so many years of their life and service
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to the country that agree with president obama to close the guantanamo facility, trusten was perhaps the saudis told the detainees if necessary and be aware of the fact if we should ship these detainees to some other country to be tried or for some other purpose there is a serious question whether or not they would treat them in the way they should be treated for the safety of the united states. for many years incidently president george w. bush said he wanted to close guantanamo. there weren't any complaints from the republican side of the arnall then. george w. bush couldn't get the job done. president obama said he will try to finish the job. i hope some of these two are critical of president obama and his position will not make a political issue out of guantanamo if president george w. bush and obama agree it should be closed it's pretty clear to me at the highest level of government there is a bipartisan consensus. our colleagues on the other side of the aisle are criticizing president obama when it comes to
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guantanamo but the fact is they have no plan but to leave the facility open and continue to see it being used around the world against the united states as a recruiting tool for terrorists. i urge my republican colleagues to join with general colin powell and joined those on their side of the aisle who understand the closing guantanamo will make america safer. madam president, i yield the floor. >> the senator from delaware. >> i ask unanimous consent to proceed as if mourning business and time to count against cloture. >> without objection. >> madame president, today i'm introducing along with senator brown the education coordination act of 2009. this bill addresses what we call stan education, science technology, engineering and mathematics which is critical for the competitiveness in the years and generations to come this bill is nearly identical to the version of h.r. 1709 reported by house committees on
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science and technology and on education labor. which may be approved by house of representatives as early as today. it is quite a simple proposal. it would require coordination of federal s.t.e.m. activities. we can agree s.t.e.m. education is crucial to the future. technological innovation accounts for more than half of the growth of the economy since the second world war. the discoveries and inventions of the s.t.e.m. professionals create whole new opportunities, new industries, new companies, new-product and services and new ways of delivering old products and services efficiently. to build a clean energy,, to stay competitive in a globalizing world, to drive the health and science research that would improve quality-of-life we need more people trained in these fields. all too often though, we are lagging behind other nations producing the scientists and engineers. our ability to keep our leading technology, which is defined american economic strength for
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generations is deteriorating. the need for more s.t.e.m. education and also particularly to reach women and underrepresented minorities is well recognized. and the congress has acted in recent years to support legislation like america competes act that broadens the efforts beyond s.t.e.m. education there's also a concern that we are now using the current s.t.e.m. education resources as efficiently and effectively as we could. as noted in the house science committee report, quote, for the most part, agencies to develop their programs independently rather than sharing best practices and collaborating across agencies each program is also developed its own methods and criteria for evaluation making a comparison effectiveness across the programs and possible, and of quote. to get the most out of our efforts, this bill requires coordination of federal s.t.e.m. activities. what direct office of s
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